14 May 2008
Regular Benefits and Work readers will know all about the Unum Provident Centre for Psychosocial and Disability Research based at Cardiff university.

Skeleton seated at desk It’s Director, Professor Mansel Aylward, is the former chief scientist at the DWP who moved to the Unum Provident bankrolled centre several years ago. The centre has been one of the leading forces in trying to make it harder for people to be signed off sick by their GPs. Staff from Unum were also prominent in the design of the current PCA and also the new, much harsher WCA. Professor Aylward is, in addition, involved in research for the DWP and for Dame Carol Black, proponent of the replacement of sick-notes with ‘well-notes’.

All the more surprising then that the centre is carrying out research in to ‘presenteeism’ for the Welsh assembly. Presenteeism, apparently is the culture of working ridiculously long hours and not taking time off when sick.

According to Professor Aylward presenteeism costs the country ten times more than sickness absence.

The learned Professor, who has spent many years telling people that the best cure for illness is work, now claims that:

“The problems come from people who are ill, those who are not up to the mark, who are continuing to work.”

Presumably there is no possibility that the reason why people are chained to their desks till they drop is that their GP has been persuaded by DWP funded research that being signed off sick is bad for their patients’ health.

You can read more about presenteeism here.


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